Summary: What is God's answer for the issue of sexual orientation?


When a baby is born, the first thing usually said is, "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" The sex of a child is based on biology-anatomy and chromosomes. But, for some people, their sense of gender does not always match their sex.

That mismatch was brought to our attention in 2015 when Olympic superstar Bruce Jenner announced that he no longer wanted to be Bruce. Several months later he was introduced on the front cover of Vanity Fair as Caitlyn Jenner.

That same year, same sex marriage was legalized in all fifty states on June 26, 2015 by an act of the United States Supreme Court. Who would have thought that possible just a few years earlier? But, the speed at which the culture's view on gender and sexuality has changed with lightning speed.

I read that the Facebook in the U.S. used to list over 50 gender options, whereas in the U.K. a person has over 70 gender options! However, I believe that now one is able to custom list one's gender preference on Facebook. So, who knows how many options there are today?

When we were considering what topic or series to preach on for Sunday evenings, the Session believed that this topic was important for us to examine in light of the current cultural conditions. Not only is there pressure in the contemporary culture to accept modern conceptions of sex and gender, our children are being taught that at school too.

While we could spend many sessions on this topic, I am going to cover it in only one session. Therefore, this study will be necessarily cursory. However, I believe it will be sufficient to give a biblical answer to the issue of sexual (and gender) orientation. I encourage you to purchase The Gospel & Sexual Orientation by Michael Lefebvre, as well as The Gospel & Gender Identity to learn more about this very important topic.

I should also mention that I have no expertise in medicine, science, or psychology. My training is theological. And so, my approach to this topic is theological and pastoral. My concern is what the Bible teaches about this topic, and also how we as Christians and as a church should help those wrestling with issues related to sexual and gender orientation.

Let me briefly define a few terms so that we are thinking about the same thing:

* Sex-refers to the biological classification of a person as male or female based on physical features.

* Gender-refers to the social and psychological classification of a person as male or female based on personal perception.

There are a few instances in which a person's physical anatomy is different from his or her chromosome make-up. That is very rare, very difficult emotionally, very difficult pastorally, and beyond the scope of this study.

Historically, a person's physical sex and social gender were regarded as unified. So, a physical male was also a social male, and physical female was also social female.

Today, however, this historical view has been challenged. A person's sex and gender are no longer regarded as necessarily matching. Today, a physical male may be gendered as a female, or vice versa. That is where the term transgender comes in: a transgender is a person whose sex and gender do not match.


What is God's answer for the issue of sexual orientation?

Let's use the following outline:

1. Current Concerns about the Issue of Sexual Orientation

2. Culture's Answers to the Issue of Sexual Orientation

3. God's Answer to the Issue of Sexual Orientation

I. Current Concerns about the Issue of Sexual Orientation

First, let's look at current concerns about the issue of sexual orientation. Why do we even need to examine this issue?

Sexual orientation and gender identity are at the forefront of today's culture. A tremendous amount has been written about it. Laws have been changed. The media accepts that sex and gender do not need to match for people. And as I said, even social media, like Facebook, allows people to self-identify.

People who wrestle with sexual orientation and gender identity issues often struggle very deeply, although admittedly not all do. A Transgender Remembrance Day poster states, "34% of trans people attempt suicide. 64% are bullied. 73% of trans people are harassed in public. 21% of trans people avoid going out in public due to fear." If these numbers are accurate, or even if they are not close to accurate, that is very sad.

The current sexual orientation movement is extremely influential. Way back in 1994, an article in Time magazine said the homosexual revolution

is still changing the way Americans see many of their basic institutions-family, church, schools, the military, media and culture among them…. Everywhere one looks, there are signs of gay acceptability [formerly] unimaginable…. Gays are working openly in the White House and on Capitol Hill…. A gay man is president of the Minnesota state senate, and another is the democratic candidate for secretary of state in California. Pop stars and Olympic heroes acknowledge they are gay…. The gay dollar is courted by big companies and gay tourism is encouraged…. Earlier this month 20,000 gay men and women were made welcome at the icon of bourgeois family life, Disney World.

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